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OCA to Honor Asian Pacific American Leaders at National Convention

Thursday, May 23, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Victoria Rumsey
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OCA to Honor Asian Pacific American Leaders at National Convention


23 May 2013


Tom L. Hayashi | Executive Director

202 223 5500 |

WASHINGTON, D.C. - OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, a national organization dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs), is pleased to announce the APA leaders who will be recognized throughout this year’s National Convention as part of the organization’s 40th Anniversary Celebration from July 18-21, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.  

As OCA celebrates this historic 40-year milestone, it is not only a time to celebrate the accomplishments that have been achieved in the past four decades, but also an opportunity to honor the legacies of countless individuals who have contributed in immeasurable ways to the APA community.

OCA will acknowledge several leaders for their commitment to the community with the following OCA honors: the Award for Lifetime Service, the Pioneer Award for Community Education, the Lifetime Hero Award – Voice of the APA Community, the Pioneer Award for Community Advocacy, and the Pioneer Award.

Thursday, July 18
At the convention's kickoff Welcome Reception, the Award for Lifetime Service will be given to OCA lifetime member and former National Board member George Cha, OCA’s past National President Ginny Gong, and past National President and former OCA Executive Director Michael Lin. The OCA Award for Lifetime Service is given in recognition of individuals who have been OCA members for 25 years or longer, have served in a leadership capacity at the local and/or national level, and have contributed extensively to the organization’s mission and vision during the past 40 years.

Friday, July 19
The OCA Pioneer Award for Community Education will be given to Dr. Connie Tingson-Gatuz during the Youth Recognition Luncheon to honor her critical role as the lead facilitator and founding thought leader of the APIA U: Leadership Training Program. In addition, the OCA Lifetime Hero Award – Voice of the APA Community will be presented posthumously to Senator Daniel Inouye, for his extraordinary contributions to the United States, and the OCA Pioneer Award for Community Advocacy will be presented to long-time OCA member and supporter California Controller John Chiang during the Friday night event which will take place at the Newseum located just blocks from the Capitol Building.

Saturday, July 20
During the Gala Awards, OCA will recognize three outstanding individuals with the OCA Pioneer Award. This year’s honorees include the first APA female Senator in United States history, Mazie K. Hirono, Former White House Cabinet Secretary Chris Lu, and award winning journalist and activist, Jose Antonio Vargas.

OCA National President Sharon M. Wong remarked, "On the 40th anniversary of OCA’s founding, we are pleased to have people from all over the country come to Washington, DC to celebrate this occasion and join us in recognizing numerous great leaders who have been and are an invaluable part of the Asian Pacific American story and tapestry.”

"We are proud to recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions of each of these outstanding individuals to the Asian Pacific American community. The foundation that they have laid allows us to forge a path for all APAs to be leaders and to follow their aspirations. Their stories show that we are only limited by how far our dreams will take us and that perseverance can carry us beyond what we could ever imagine,” said OCA Executive Director Tom L. Hayashi.

OCA’s National Convention is one of the preeminent annual events for the APA community, drawing over a thousand people from around the country for educational, cultural, and networking events. This year’s National Convention: Celebrating 40 Years of Advocacy and Empowerment will feature three days of workshops, youth and college programs, tracks designed for small businesses, federal leadership, and professional leadership development, as well as many notable speakers and guests. Register for early bird registration by Friday, June 7 and save!

For a full listing of all events, programs, and registration, please visit

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